Makeover: Chair 2

When Debby moved here from Ohio, she brought an old chair that had come into her daughter Sarah’s possession. Poor chair had seen better times–this was still its original fabric. One of the arms had broken and had been temporarily fixed with some duct tape (of course!). At least the duct tape was color coordinated with the fabric. Debby didn’t have room for the chair in Fairy Cottage, so it took up residence in our guest room.

Post-flood, since we needed to get furniture out of the house and were taking other pieces to be reupholstered, we decided to give Sarah’s chair new life. Houndstooth Hall life! We found exactly the fabric we were hoping for with Jackie Johnson’s assistance.


And no more duct tape! Not only do they do great upholstering, but their repair guy gave this chair the appearance it deserves. If you need furniture reupholstered or repaired in Houston, this is the place: Jack Johnson Upholstery.

Makeover: Chair 1

This chair belonged to Lynne’s grandmother, then her mother, then her Aunt Lil, who gave it to Lynne. When Lynne was moving, she offered it to me. Of course I wanted a chair that had belonged to three generations of a family that welcomed me as one of their own! Though she’d had the chair reupholstered, what I discovered was that the fabric wasn’t dog resistant.

When we took our antique settee and chair in to be reupholstered, we also took this channel back chair in and selected a fabric that would go with those two. I LOVE the result!


It’s a good match to the fabric on the other pieces, and it goes well with our old coffee table.

Thank you, Lynne, for allowing us to give such a special chair a home!

If you need furniture reupholstered or repaired in Houston: Jack Johnson Upholstery

One week later…

It’s been a week since my birthday, but I thought I’d post a few happy photos so I can remember it.

First off, I received an email from Charles The Boss that Monday morning telling me I needed to come to a mandatory meeting at the clinic. I was all, No! On my birthday? But the topic was one of my ongoing concerns so I dragged myself there. Charles’s door was closed, and he wasn’t back from an off-site meeting yet, so Morgan, our Rescue Team Lead, said we could start the meeting in his office without him. I AM SO CLUELESS.

There was no meeting. It was a set-up from the foster, rescue, and medical teams who were at work that day and even some people who came in on their days off with cake and birthday love for me. I WORK WITH THE BEST PEOPLE. But as I later told Charles, now I know that he and everyone else WILL LIE TO ME.

I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we all fell on it like starving lunatics, but it was SO GOOD.

Also a few little goodies from people who know me too well.

That night, Tom and I met Debby, Tim, Lynne, Rhonda, and Lindsey out for (at least in my case) a steak dinner at one of my favorite casual restaurants. After dinner, we split a couple of pieces of decadent chocolate cake (I was good and only took a small bite of my second cake of the day!), while I opened a few of my presents.


This is a super cool organizer Lindsey’s been giving her friends who like to color. It’s for those times you want to take your coloring book and colors out with you, but you don’t want to be burdened with your 5,023 pencils, pens, and markers (wait, maybe that’s just the number in my collection?). The ones in here now mysteriously showed up with my coloring supplies long after the flood, and I think they may have been some Lynne purged when she was moving. She’s very sneaky. (And no, Lynne, I have NOT put that one particular set of pencils back in that coloring book set in an OCD frenzy–unless it was Debby who forbade me to do that, but I think it was you).

Those cards for coloring came in a letter I received from Marika some time back. I LOVE MARIKA’S snail mail. Her letters are like getting creative little gifts full of thoughts and humor, tales of Mighty Monte and adventures in writing and St. Pete, and reminders of inside jokes that leave me cackling. They never make it home from the post office unread. As soon as I get to my car, I have to open and devour them.

Speaking of Lynne being sneaky, these dachshund sheets she gave me are a cool addition to Houndstooth Hall.

Unfortunately, they came with a price tucked among the folds.

Yep, the coasters are home. FORTUNATELY, Timothy cancelled them out with these he picked up while on a trip to Maine.

Thank you, Tim, and you’re welcome, world, for your daily cow.

This was one of the things I had wanted, and a little bird told Lynne, who delivered it.

Yes, we all know I’ve never been a big fan of Bush, but I admire his second act. He has devoted himself to learning a new creative passion and to honoring people whose Commander in Chief he was. I think often of those who serve. People who thrive on creating discord on the Internet love to “speak” for our service members and how they feel about the White House. But searching photos will show you many, many occasions under all administrations of our leaders surrounded by smiling members of the military. I can’t envision a world without the Internet anymore, but I can sure envision an Internet without comments.

On the matter of former presidents, one of my favorite things during Obama’s eight years in office was the Flickr White House account that featured Pete Souza’s photos. Thanks to Lindsey and Rhonda, I now have this book that I failed to get before it sold out before Christmas. So grateful for its success and its second printing, and for the trusting relationship between a president and his official photographer that provided unprecedented access to the executive branch and families.

Related to the executive branch families, I’m delighted to add these to my collection. I always follow the children of presidents with interest and hope they find fulfilling lives beyond the White House years. So many parents and teachers are using these books to encourage the aspirations of young girls.

In the Department of Shiny, here’s a brooch from Lynne.

And what do you see in my new crystal ball from Debby?

I’m hoping it’s more good things for all of you reading.

Thanks to all for many fantastic birthday wishes!

Now he can watch all his shows in comfort

Here it is, the FIRST thing I promised I’d get Tom when we could start refurnishing the house. His replacement recliner.

Still plenty of work to do in the living room, but we’ll get there. Just around the corner from the couch (which desperately needs its leather rubbed down), we have decided to move the smaller table that had been in the library into the dining room. Those are our old dining room chairs. We haven’t decided yet whether to use them or use the chairs that go with this table (the table and chairs were my parents’, and we’re lucky we could save them). This table can be expanded–it has two leafs–but we like the feeling of space in there.

Because the OTHER table that had previously been in the dining room is larger and so are the new-to-me chairs I told you about. Next blog post…

Last night we had my birthday dinner out (remember? no stove? no sink? no kitchen?) with Tim, Debby, Lynne, Rhonda, and Lindsey. We had so much fun. I got lots of good stuff (now that I allow people to give me stuff again, BUT NOT TOO MUCH–still on the purging kick that will resume when we start pulling stuff out of storage). It was mostly books. There’s always room for books.

And Debby gave me the beautiful flowers. It was a lovely birthday.

Best birthday morning that could be

Today I dreamed I woke up in my bedroom. It was right for the first time in seven months. It had walls with fresh paint. It had new floors. The ruined furniture had been replaced. My clothes had been neatly folded into my new chest of drawers, and Tom had a matching chest of drawers. My clothes hung in the closet, and the shoes I still owned were in shoeboxes. I had an interesting new dresser. All that was missing was the art that should be hanging on the walls.

THEN I REALIZED THAT I WASN’T DREAMING.


Our bed is back where it belongs. It survived and so did my nightstand. Tom’s nightstand did not, but Debby gave him a new one for his birthday in December.


We lost our dresser and armoire in the flood. If our replacement chests of drawers look familiar, it’s because they are the same as the ones Tim bought after he had to refurnish his apartment. I never found any that I liked as much, and he said it was okay if I chose the same ones. I purged a TON of clothes (all donated), and now everything fits into my chest of drawers and one closet.


A closet! I have a closet again! I’m not pulling my clothes out of cardboard boxes. And I have a deal with myself. Every time I buy an article of clothing, an article of clothing must be donated.


This is my new dresser. It used to be Lynne’s TV stand, and when she sold her house and was downsizing furniture, I told her I wanted it and she gave it to me! I haven’t decided exactly how to use it yet, and I need to buy a mirror to hang over it. But we love the metal and wood look–Tom’s nightstand is also metal, and the legs of the chests of drawers are metal. I told you after Debby and Tim began refurnishing there would be a post-Harvey theme: lots of metal because it is not a happy thing to see your ruined wood furniture being carried from your house to the curb.

Eventually the art will return from storage and the bedroom will be as it should be. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

I concede defeat

Back in the days when I used to do things in a more timely manner, once all the holiday/Christmas cards were mailed, I’d put the official year’s photo on my blog. I can’t remember the last batch of cards that went out–I think they were around Valentine’s Day?–then I had to put everything in a box to get the clutter off my desk. Whereupon the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” kicked in. Whatever cards went out are probably it for the season. I could wait until July to post this, since our current plan is to aim for Christmas in July as our official gift exchange season. But this year is not a year to believe plans are realistic. SO… here’s our “it rained a lot in 2017” photo if you didn’t receive one in the mail.

Tom holding Jack, me with Anime and Delta on leashes, Debby holding Stewie with Harley on the leash, and Tim with Pixie, Penny, and Pollock. Thanks, Lynne, for the photo!

A day late

Yesterday was Debby’s birthday, but she wasn’t having a good one. First, a trip back to Houston from Ohio, where she’d gone to be with the family of a friend who died, took twelve hours instead of six. Second, she is super sick (ETA: later found out she has pneumonia!).

Today Tom and I gave her a birthday dinner, and Tim and Lynne joined us, so Debby could have her traditional coconut cake. (I cheated and frosted half of it with chocolate.) One day the upheavals at Houndstooth Hall may actually be over, and everyone will be well again. No matter what, though, there are always things to celebrate!


(P.S. Debby’s fakin’ it; Tim blew out the candles to save Debby’s lungs and protect us all from germs.)


Lynne found the perfect T-shirt for her: “Southern Attitude: Extra Sweet, Extra Sassy.” That’s Debby!